The good old “get in shape” resolution is one of the most popular ones we love to hate every year.
You can probably relate to the classic scenario where you stick with your healthy plan for a couple of weeks or so but then all of your good intentions somehow fizzle out and you revert back to your old habits.
How can we avoid this outcome and actually make a lasting change this year?
I reached out to some of the finest experts on fitness, weight loss and health out there and to find out.
This is their number one advice
“Don’t try to do too much at once. If you want to get fit and healthy, make one small change every day, such as choosing non-fat in your latte instead of whole milk or adding an extra 10 minutes of strength training to your workout. If you try to make too many changes at once, it can be overwhelming and discouraging. Daily little victories like these are what keep you motivated, so you see results!”
– Tina Haupert, Carrots ‘n’ Cake
“Losing weight and keeping it off requires a lifestyle change. You have to be ready for that change. You have to be totally sick and tired of your present situation. You have to thirst for change and be serious enough to follow through on the commitments and disciplines that make losing weight possible. But by all means, enjoy a tasty treat in moderation every once in a while. Don’t deprive yourself completely. Because a life without treats just ain’t living 😉 .”
– Josie Maurer, YumYucky
“Here’s the best advice we can receive going into the new year: your journey must be a reflection of how you want the destination to feel like. I think, sometimes, we head into the New Year thinking that the ‘fresh start’ energy will magically create a blank slate of opportunity for us. Friends, that is total BS. We have to really get clear on how we want to FEEL in the New Year and start there.
So, for example, this year, I want to bring more playfulness and fun into everything I do. I tend to take things a little too seriously. So, I’ve started bringing the intention of playfulness and fun into everything I do and I’ve started bringing more playfulness into my life every day. Morning dance parties, girl dates, and listening to Nerdist podcasts have become part of my routine now. I already feel better and more connected to who I am. This small shift will change your life!”
– Heather Waxman
“Wanting to get fit and healthy is a great thing to want to do, but to make it a really good New Year’s resolution, you gotta get a little more specific. What does ‘getting fit and healthy’ really mean to you? Is that working out a certain number of times a week? Being able to do push-ups on your toes? Eating more fruits and veggies? Losing 10 pounds? Having more energy to play with your kids?
Ask yourself why you want to get fit and healthy and then pick one or two specific things you can do to get there! The why will give you the motivation to make change, and getting specific gives you something that you can work towards! And if you’re looking for some good ideas to be healthy year round, check out this post. You can do it!”
– Jennipher Walters, Fit Bottomed Girls
“Focus on adding healthy habits instead of worrying about subtracting unhealthy ones. Add a salad, a workout, an hour of sleep before you attempt to subtract a coffee, a TV session on the couch, or your nightly dessert. Once you develop your new healthy additions it will be easier to remove the unhealthy ones.”
– Kath Younger, Kath Eats
My advice is actually borrowed from Alan Aragon, the nutrition advisor to Men’s Health Magazine (amongst other things): avoid fad diets. This advice is particularly relevant around this time of year, when people are more motivated to get fitter and more healthy. Fad diets are not the solution.
As I said in the post linked to above, “Dieting should not be about restriction and abstention from the foods that you love the most – it should be about making informed choices, exercising moderation and enacting gradual positive changes.”
– Tom Ewer, Healthy Enough
1) Eat at least 6 – 7 servings of vegetables and a couple of fruits per day – and work your way up to it. It will crowd out the lower quality fare and always results in easier weight management and better energy levels.
2) Move your body for at least 30 minutes a day – I don’t care how! You can work your way up to this, too.
– Lani Muelrath
“1. Start small and be realistic, for example, workout 10 minute 2 times a week. Workout 5 minutes twice a day. Increase when you feel successful.
2. Make exercise fun, for example, choose exercise you like; maybe something you did when you were a kid. If that’s not possible make it easy, for example, walk. Take control and do what you want to do (versus what you think you should do).
3. Incorporate exercise into your daily life, for example, take the stairs, park a little further away, do cardio grocery shopping/cleaning/gardening. The more you do this, the better you’ll feel and the more motivated.
Same principle apply with healthy eating. Include fruit in your diet 3 times a week. Cut back on 1 desert a week. Play around with different foods and different recipes. Carry water with you wherever you go. Chances are you’ll drink more. You are in control of your journey!”
– Dr. Michelle Cleere
I would say that the number one piece of advice is that, whatever changes the person is making, they need to be *permanent* changes. They aren’t something you’re just going to do for 3 months or 6 months, and then revert back to old habits. They need to be new habits not only for the new year, but many new years to come. Otherwise, if you revert back to old habits, you won’t reach your goals…if you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.
– James Krieger, Weightology
My number 1 tip would be to find an accurate assessment of how many calories you truly need, perhaps from a registered dietician. Too often people drastically cut calories to lose weight, and end up slowing their metabolism and making things worse.
– Clare Brady, Fitting It All In
“Pay attention to your body. Eat when you’re hungry, stop when you’re full. Listen to your hunger and fullness cues.”
– Monica Olivas, RunEatRepeat.com
More New Years Resolution Ideas
Pretty great stuff, right? If you’d like some more awesome new years resolution ideas and how to make them a booming success, make sure to check out how to:
Before you go I have two things to ask of you:
- Have you managed to “get in shape”? How did you do it? And if not, what will be your action plan this year? Let us know in the comments!
- Spread the love! Email this article to a friend who could benefit from it.
Here’s to your success – Good luck with your healthy habits & Happy New Year! 🙂